The community celebrated with music, song, and welcoming words
February 2022 – Drew University African students recently celebrated the newly-formed African Students Community at Drew caucus (AfriSCaD) with a lively hybrid event filled with African song, dance, and welcoming talks from the Drew community.
There are approximately 55 students from 14 African countries at Drew’s campus in Madison, New Jersey. More than 30 students are members of AfriSCaD, including several online students currently residing in Africa.
AfriSCaD offers students the opportunity to form relationships, connections, and a sense of community while transitioning from Africa to the U.S. The caucus is also intended to be a resource for African students in need of support navigating the differences within the foreign community and the ability to remain present to the African identity, cultures, and integrity.
“As African students, we encounter an individualistic notion of community which is not familiar in our African context,” said Janet Okang (Jane), PhD student at the Theological School from Ghana and co-chair of AfriSCAD. “African’s take pride in their community—a community that comes together to show that love and care are real.”
AfriSCaD’s motto is “Together Reaffirming Ubuntu.” Kita Jean-Marc Mutwale, Master of Divinity student from the Democratic Republic of Congo, explained the concept of ubuntu, which means ‘I am because we are.’ “We are here for students today and future generations of African students at Drew,” he said.
“The Drew community is enriched by your presence,” said Provost Jessica Lakin.
“Drew would be less of a community without our African students,” echoed Art Pressley, associate professor of psychology and religion at the Theological School.
“The launch of AfriSCaD represents a blossoming moment for African students, past and present, here at Drew; a real giant step towards institutionalizing ever more robust dynamic and diverse theologies, cultures, and values of global citizenship,” said Kenneth Ngwa, professor of Hebrew Bible at the Theological School and faculty advisor to AfriSCaD.
“It also demonstrates Drew’s commitment to student voices and contributions in achieving transformative education that approximates the realities of the majority world and the search for global ubuntu.”